Todd Akin Has Made It So Hard for Republicans to Talk Crazy About Rape

By
Paul Ryan and Roger Rivard.

A Republican Wisconsin state representative, who's now saying he was taken out of context when he said "some girls rape easy," probably wouldn't be making headlines across the Internet right now if it wasn't for that pesky Todd Akin. Rep. Roger Rivard (who Paul Ryan endorsed) says his comment to the Chetek Alert newspaper last December about a high school senior charged with sexual assault for having sex with a girl in the band room, was "kind of taken out of context." He was relating some wisdom from his father, you see, about the dangers of premarital sex, he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she's underage. And he just said, 'Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,' he said, 'they rape so easy.'" Ugh. It doesn't really sound better in context, does it? But you probably never would have heard it if it wasn't for U.S. Rep. Todd Akin's scandal over the summer.

As the Journal Sentinel reports, the ten-month-old comment only resurfaced after Rivard's opponent, Stephen Smith, dug it up. "Smith said he didn't learn of the comments until August, when U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri drew controversy for claiming women's bodies could prevent pregnancy in cases of 'legitimate rape.'" Akin's opponent in the Missouri Senate race, Sen. Claire McCaskill, just launched a brutal new ad that features rape victims talking about how their bodies actually don't work that way. Similarly, Smith is capitalizing on his opponent's awful perspective: "I'm offended to think that my sister or my daughters would be thought of in that manner," he told the Journal Sentinel. For what it's worth, many people have relatives who say unrepeatable things. The best way to avoid having those things taken "out of context" is not to repeat them.